The best new albums of the month, March 2014

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I think it's fair to say that 2014 is no 2013 in terms of good albums released to date. I spent time this month with a few records that were getting rave reviews elsewhere, only to find myself disappointed. Happily though, some lesser known albums got promoted into the ten picks in their place.
You can hear tunes from albums like these on my weekly show on Radioaktiv, every Wednesday at 9pm GMT. For this reason I have tried to add tracks that I haven't played on the radio show. Enjoy...

Lorelle Meets the Obsolete 'Chambers'
Like many "scenes", there are now too many psych/garage bands around and the quality has been diluted. Happily Mexico's LMTO have released a collection of edgy and imaginative music which stands heads and shoulders above many of their contemporaries.

Jon Porras 'Light Divide'
my review (the 405)
An ambient album from one half of Barn Owl, moving away from guitar based soundscapes towards pure electronica. At times this is incredibly beautiful.

Real Estate 'Atlas'
There is nothing new in what Real Estate do but they do it so well, with a gift for melody and delicate guitar lines.

Metronomy 'Love Letters'
One of the best 'pop' albums of the year, 'Love Letters' sees Metronomy move away from dance music to embrace a minimal kind of psychedelia, not a million miles from Arthur Lee and Love. A very pleasant surprise.

Linda Perhacs 'The Soul of Natural Things'
With a back story reminiscent of that of Vashti Bunyan a few years ago, Linda Perhacs returns to the record business 44 years after her last album (the psych-folk classic Parallelograms), having retired from her career as a dental hygienist. This time she is aided by people she has influenced and inspired, such as Julia Holter and Panda Bear.

Liars 'Mess'
'Mess' sees Liars attempting to re-invent their sound by injecting it with 4/4 techno, yet they also manage to sound exactly like themselves in the process. Like they say of the Fall, always different, always the same.

Hauschka 'Abandoned City'
A sonically fascinating album on which Hauschka returns to the prepared piano, and creates a series of varied instrumental soundtracks. All of the track names are actual abandoned cities, fact fans.

Fenster 'The Pink Caves'
It seems this noir-ish collection came out of nowhere. Fenster hail from Berlin and this album manages to evoke both David Lnych and the recent Warpaint album at the same time. Investigate this if you like that description, you won't be disappointed.

François and the Atlas Mountains 'Piano Ombre'
Another luscious album from this bunch, and the first since they have fully relocated to France. Lyrically it is still split evenly between English and French, whilst the music is a mix of catchy pop and longer, more thoughtful pieces.

Dean Wareham 'Dean Wareham'
Last year's 'Emancipated Hearts' EP was strong and contained some of the best music the former Galaxie 500/ Luna man had made in years. If anything, this self-titled album is even better.

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